Fire at Pizza Shop, Apartments Under Investigation

Several families are homeless after the fire in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and officials say it could have been contained if the building had a fire alarm system.

 As firefighters continued battling a three-alarm blaze Sunday in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Tony and Lisa DiMercurio could only stand by helplessly, watching their restaurant burn.

"It's very sad," said Tony DiMercurio. "Everything's gone."

Officials say the building didn't have a fire alarm system. If it had, they said, the fire could have been contained. They do not know if any codes were violated, due to the age of the building.

Kelsey Ahlers lived above Tony's Magnolia House of Pizza. She had plans to move next weekend.

"That's my bedroom, where that fire is, that's my bedroom," sahe said. "Everything is packed and ready to go and on fire."

She says letting her fiance sleep in may have saved her animals' lives.

"I was like, 'It's his only day off, I'll let him sleep,'" said Ahlers. "I went back to bed, and had we not - it's just really scary to think about, that my dogs would have been alone."

The fire began around 9 a.m.

"The fire, initially, [was] found in the kitchen," said Gloucester Fire Chief Eric Smith. "It had already migrated into the walls and started taking control of the structure."

The fire destroyed the roof of Lauren Asaros' third-floor apartment. She was at work and received the call. She rushed home to try and save her cats.

"They wouldn't even let me in the yard to even open the door to let the cats out," she said. "But I guess my landlord kicked my door open, so hopefully - I'm hoping my cats got out. There was a lot of smoke, so he didn't see them."

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

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